Sunday, April 17, 2005

On God. (a revision)


"We want to worship a living God. I have not seen anything but God all my life, nor have you. To see this chair you first see God, and then the chair in and through Him. He is everywhere, saying, "I am." The moment you feel "I am," you are conscious of Existence. Where shall we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being?
-Vivekananda

"We want to commune with the Divine. I have not seen anything but the Divine all my life, nor have you. To see this flower you first see the Divine, and then the object in and through the Divine. The Divine is everwhere, saying, "I am." The moment you feel "I am," you are conscious of Existence. Where shall we go to find the Divine if we cannot see it in our own hearts and in every living being?"
-Larry D. Lyons II

On my revision.
1. Worship vs. Communion. I can not say that my impulse is to worship. Beings that desire worship seem, to me, to seek a validation, a reverence that distances the worshipper from the worshipped. And distance is the last thing I want in my spiritual life. I want oneness. I want communion. I want to commune with the Divine.

2. The Divine vs. God. "The Divine" is more than a substitute for God. It's a different paradigm altogether. God, as used in the original quote, is a gendered being. For me, gender is only a useful notion when attempting to classify embodied beings (and even then, it has its limitations). Furthermore, I don't imagine "God" to be a "being" at all. "God" is a spirit, not unlike the spirit of goodwill or the spirit of volunteerism. In the same way that we would not discuss goodwill or volunteerism as "beings", I do not imagine God to be a being.
Finally, I love that the quote acknowledges the ubiquity or omnipresence of the Divine, because I truly believe in the divinity of all things. But I think that using a gendered pronoun attributed a gender to God, and this undermines the otherwise admirable spiritual paradigm the quote models.

3. The chair vs. the flower. This is the least consequential revision; I chose the flower merely because I used the picture of a flower. But I draw attention to it to make a larger point. In conversations like these, I've noticed that people rely on a fairly trite/traditional vocabulary of the beautiful. Flowers, babies, butterflies, serene lakes, [insert the title of any Mariah Carey album here]. Perhaps I should have chosen a different image as to avoid replicating that move... ah, well.. shoot me. What I'd like to say is this: there is nothing more inherently beautiful than anything else. In the place of the flower, I could hase just as easily used any one of the following images:
a bullet wound
two fallen towers
a toenail
a broken condom.

None of these do a better job than any other at realizing/embodying the beauty of the Divine. The more I expand my vocabulary of the beautiful, the more abundant/rich my appreciation of the world and all of its elements.

Where shall I go to find the Divine if I cannot see it in my own heart and in every being?

7 Comments:

Blogger ShawnQt said...

The oneness of it all... if only we could all feel that in our hearts.

I feel its all about either living life sleepwalking, or living life awake.

We must look at a flower, and see that the flower and us are all made of the same thing.

We can look at the toenail, and see it is one and the same with us...

what's also hard is to see the connection of seeing the bullet wound and the twin towers are also the same as us.

We created the circumstance, and the space for which these things to happen, just as much as GOD created us, and the space in which we exist.

The only way to uncreate it is, to know that we and GOD are one and the same, and the power to take away what is not needed will come into exsistence.

If we don't do that, we will continue to blindly pray for something to go away, or blame the results on another being that we created to represent all the evil in this world.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Jaqua said...

Thank God for the gift of Individuation, it is the same concept that everything is God and God is everything, just as darkness and "evil" is God, just as the light and "goodness" is God, just as the whore and the virgin is God, the drag queen in pumps and the Thug is God, and the life giving mother and the child molester are God, he is all, and we are he, her, it.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A beautiful way of seeing, living. This site needs more of you....
by pram310

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this post.
~ dentona2000

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In every nation, in every form
Your names are many, but you are one,
This entire universe is your playground
In every game and every meeting
It is you. It is you.

Smaller than the ant, the atom
took the form of everything
Sometimes a tree, majestic, tall
The beauty of you -
You are the one.

- translation of a childhood song. I couldn't help myself.
by pram310

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Larry, good to see you're still around.
I have always been uncomfortable with the worship business, because that's like taking and separating something out and then treating It as special. So I appreciate that part of your post especially.

-kitlulu

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can't find Him, God or whatever in your heart nor in any other being (me, for instance) then do one of the two things that are most often done in this kinda situation: a) put your hands together, look at the ground and be silent or b) spread your hands, look at the sky and be as loud as you can...
I guess the last one will always help me out better then the first, since the first never did anything for me (as far as I know)...
One last thing; I couldn't help but think of something Joey Jordison once said when during an interview he was asked if he believed in God (or something like that): I believe everybody's got their own Gods around them...not sure, but that's sort of what he said. The bottom line was that a lot of people got things or people on earth they consider divine or heavenly or whatever, some people treat their lover as their God, some people prefer the God they're told is the real God (Allah, Buddha, God), and of course there are some people that rather drink liquor...
I would look it up for you guys, but I'd have to pull off all kinda acrobatic stunts before I'd be able to put my hands on the box with all of them mags in it (and then there'd be hours of searching for that one mag with the joey-interview in it).
----Ruben

8:59 PM  

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